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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,10TH DE,2020-The High Court has ordered MPs to pay back Kenyans Sh1.2 billion that they unlawfully awarded themselves as house allowance two years ago.
In the case, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission and activist Okiya Omtatah had challenged the Sh250,000 house allowance that the 416 MPs awarded themselves.
A three-judge bench has directed the Clerk of the Senate and National Assembly to recover in full from the salaries and allowances of each MP the entire money paid to them as accommodation.
Justices Weldon Korir, Pauline Nyamweya and John Mativo unanimously ruled that SRC acted within its mandate by directing Clerks of Parliament not to pay the impugned allowance which did not interfere with the constitution independence of parliament and PSC.
The MPs will each be required to pay back Sh2.8 million from their salaries within the next one year.
Omtatah had argued the payment is a double benefit as house allowance is already included by SRC in MPs’ gross pay.
He stated that no state officer is paid a house allowance outside their gross pay, hence, any payment of house allowance outside the gross pay is unconstitutional.